Level 1 course Diving Medicine part 1, NL, March 2023
The Scott Haldane Foundation’s (SHF) basic course in diving medicine provides physicians with an introduction to diving and hyperbaric medicine. Diving and working under pressure differ significantly from sports and activities undertaken in normal atmospheric conditions. Many physical abnormalities that seem minor in the terrestrial setting have significant consequences in the diving environment. For instance, a loss of consciousness underwater will in most cases lead to death by drowning. Little, if any, attention is paid to hyperbaric conditions in the standard medical school curriculum. This course is designed to fill in that gap in knowledge and provide a qualification that enables the practitioner to perform medical examinations for the diving candidate.
Over the past 18 years the Scott Haldane Foundation (SHF) has refined the content and structure of its Level1 Course. The original 18 hour program has been expanded to provide a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of diving physiology and additional topics have been added in response to feedback from some 2000 graduates. In keeping with emerging international guidelines for certification in diving medicine training, the SHF has evolved its program such that it is fully accredited by the European College of Baromedicine.
The Level 1 Course has been split into two parts. This announcement details part 1. On completion of the full Level 1 Course, comprising both parts 1 and 2, students will be issued with the internationally recognized certification of Medical Examiner of Divers, (ECHM level 1). The full overview of course structures and certification is available on the SHF-course structure pages on this site.
Topics Basic Course part 1
Epidemiology of diving accidents: A review of recent studies of diving accidents worldwide: the introduction and justification for this course.
Basic principles of hyperbaric physics and physiology: The influence of atmospheric and hydrostatic pressure on the human body will be addressed. Topics include the aspects of physics that are relevant to diving medicine, the phenomenon of bubble formation and the physiology of decompression.
Diving diseases: An overview of causality, diagnosis and prevention of diving diseases is given in relation to the different phases of a dive: descent, bottom time and ascent.
International guidelines for the diving medical examination: This unit teaches the practitioner to conduct a diving medical examination and provide sound medical advice to divers. It will be delivered as three separate subunits. The first addresses the effects of diving on important and critical existing pathology and the influence of that pathology on diving safety. The second looks at other non-critical pathology the medical practitioner may encounter during the diving medical. The third subunit illustrates how a diving medical examination should be performed.
Case studies:Case studies on diving medical problems are presented over the course of the program. They will be discussed in small work groups and are used to highlight important points from the lectures.
Diving in practice: Students who are new to scuba diving get an introduction in diving. Certified scuba divers have the opportunity to test special equipment like dry suits, full-face masks and the latest gadgets and equipment.